No ties, Tampa Bay area

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Lord Randolph McDuff
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No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:17 pm

I have very minimal ties to Florida but my wife is tired of the dry mountain air and wants to move. I am a 1L at a T1 out west. Here is my plan so far: I am hoping to do a visiting semester or year at Stetson and try to network with all the the alums from my School out west (I found ten or so online, surely there are a few more). My wife spent summers in Florida growing up (although not the bay area) and my uncle in law works in the DA's office in Jacksonville. That's it for ties. Oh, and I really, really like sunny weather. (Ha..).

I have heard the legal economy in Florida is really bad. I had heard about Government hiring freezes in the Bay area, as well. I know this wouldn't be easy, but anyone from the area care to give me a probability of finding something that pays at least 50k a year?

I know you can't predict your grades very well, but I did just get an A in legal writing and I think a few A-'s are def possible. Maybe top third or so? Anyway, thanks for any feedback.

PS: I had considered transferring to FSU or UF, but I hate their locations and there is no way the wife would be willing to live there for two years as well. Miami is better but I don't think that school is really objectively better than Stetson, plus it will have far fewer alums working in the Bay area.

Anonymous User
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:36 am

I interviewed with most of the Tampa firms during 2L OCI. It's very, very, very unlikely you will be able to get a job there without ties. There are only a handful of SA spots there. Carlton Fields didn't even do OCI this year, Holland & Knight took a couple, Bush Ross took a few, Phelps Dunbar took a couple. If had a to guess maybe there are 20 total SA spots? Maybe if you are Top 5-10 + LR without ties you might have a shot, although one of my classmates did that and was unable to secure an offer in the area.

Frankly, I can't overstate how difficult it is to secure a job in Florida right now. I would think long and hard before moving here to find work as a future lawyer.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with most of the Tampa firms during 2L OCI. It's very, very, very unlikely you will be able to get a job there without ties. There are only a handful of SA spots there. Carlton Fields didn't even do OCI this year, Holland & Knight took a couple, Bush Ross took a few, Phelps Dunbar took a couple. If had a to guess maybe there are 20 total SA spots? Maybe if you are Top 5-10 + LR without ties you might have a shot, although one of my classmates did that and was unable to secure an offer in the area.

Frankly, I can't overstate how difficult it is to secure a job in Florida right now. I would think long and hard before moving here to find work as a future lawyer.



I will def do that, thanks.

What about less prestigious firms? Any way to get to the front of the line in a DA's office over the kids from Florida law schools?

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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:29 am

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with most of the Tampa firms during 2L OCI. It's very, very, very unlikely you will be able to get a job there without ties. There are only a handful of SA spots there. Carlton Fields didn't even do OCI this year, Holland & Knight took a couple, Bush Ross took a few, Phelps Dunbar took a couple. If had a to guess maybe there are 20 total SA spots? Maybe if you are Top 5-10 + LR without ties you might have a shot, although one of my classmates did that and was unable to secure an offer in the area.

Frankly, I can't overstate how difficult it is to secure a job in Florida right now. I would think long and hard before moving here to find work as a future lawyer.


I will def do that, thanks.

What about less prestigious firms? Any way to get to the front of the line in a DA's office over the kids from Florida law schools?


Hiring at the State Attorney's Office isn't as difficult. If you are a CLI there and do all crim law stuff I don't see why you wouldn't be able to get a job with one. I'm not a crim law person though, and I don't know specifically about Tampa's SAOs. My guess is that you will need to be flexible; don't be surprised if you end up in like Bartow, FL.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:16 am

This sounds more positive. I will be in a lucky position when I graduate due to savings and scholarships. I an actually afford to take a 40k a year job for awhile. Anyone know if there would be some good ol boy'n that could keep me out of the hunt down there? I would just have the visiting term from Stetson and a smile.

I suppose I could get down there and decide to transfer, although I really like the school I'm at out here.

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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:06 pm

get a 1L job in tampa at USAO or judge. Attempt to transfer to T14 or UF?

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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with most of the Tampa firms during 2L OCI. It's very, very, very unlikely you will be able to get a job there without ties. There are only a handful of SA spots there. Carlton Fields didn't even do OCI this year, Holland & Knight took a couple, Bush Ross took a few, Phelps Dunbar took a couple. If had a to guess maybe there are 20 total SA spots? Maybe if you are Top 5-10 + LR without ties you might have a shot, although one of my classmates did that and was unable to secure an offer in the area.

Frankly, I can't overstate how difficult it is to secure a job in Florida right now. I would think long and hard before moving here to find work as a future lawyer.

100% true. Very good ol boy too. I got asked a lot where I went to high school, what part of town I lived in, and who my dad was. It's nearly impossible to get FL big/midlaw without ties.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Grizz
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Grizz » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with most of the Tampa firms during 2L OCI. It's very, very, very unlikely you will be able to get a job there without ties. There are only a handful of SA spots there. Carlton Fields didn't even do OCI this year, Holland & Knight took a couple, Bush Ross took a few, Phelps Dunbar took a couple. If had a to guess maybe there are 20 total SA spots? Maybe if you are Top 5-10 + LR without ties you might have a shot, although one of my classmates did that and was unable to secure an offer in the area.

Frankly, I can't overstate how difficult it is to secure a job in Florida right now. I would think long and hard before moving here to find work as a future lawyer.

100% true. Very good ol boy too. I got asked a lot where I went to high school, what part of town I lived in, and who my dad was. It's basically impossible without ties.


All true

SAO likes to hire people who are certified legal interns. Hiring is also hilariously down. I wouldn't move down here as an out-of-stater hoping to get a job. Bad idea.

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Grizz
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Grizz » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:57 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:I have very minimal ties to Florida but my wife is tired of the dry mountain air and wants to move. I am a 1L at a T1 out west. Here is my plan so far: I am hoping to do a visiting semester or year at Stetson and try to network with all the the alums from my School out west (I found ten or so online, surely there are a few more). My wife spent summers in Florida growing up (although not the bay area) and my uncle in law works in the DA's office in Jacksonville. That's it for ties. Oh, and I really, really like sunny weather. (Ha..).

I have heard the legal economy in Florida is really bad. I had heard about Government hiring freezes in the Bay area, as well. I know this wouldn't be easy, but anyone from the area care to give me a probability of finding something that pays at least 50k a year?


Oh, probability? Extremely low. Aside from the weather, you don't seem to have many other reasons for wanting to work here.

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jessuf
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby jessuf » Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:49 pm

I'm from the Tampa area and go to Stetson. Average Starting salary in Tampa is probably $45k-$50k for those who get legal jobs. Cost of living is low. Area is beautiful. SA as a 1L is impossible without connections. Govt internships are highly competitive in the summer because you have multiple feeder schools. Midlaw/biglaw is almost non-existent in this area. A lot of hiring is based on ties like gators hiring gators. There are decent opportunities for networking, though. Three very active bar associations, countless inns of court, and Stetson plans networking events.

Are you possibly urm?

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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with most of the Tampa firms during 2L OCI. It's very, very, very unlikely you will be able to get a job there without ties. There are only a handful of SA spots there. Carlton Fields didn't even do OCI this year, Holland & Knight took a couple, Bush Ross took a few, Phelps Dunbar took a couple. If had a to guess maybe there are 20 total SA spots? Maybe if you are Top 5-10 + LR without ties you might have a shot, although one of my classmates did that and was unable to secure an offer in the area.

Frankly, I can't overstate how difficult it is to secure a job in Florida right now. I would think long and hard before moving here to find work as a future lawyer.

100% true. Very good ol boy too. I got asked a lot where I went to high school, what part of town I lived in, and who my dad was. It's nearly impossible to get FL big/midlaw without ties.


A couple notes:

First, the bolded statement is spot on. When I was considering law schools, my parents (who I would say have all sorts of serious ties at big/mid/small law level across Central Florida... for example, when my father worked for H&K, he almost single-handedly kept the Miami office operating in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew - as in like, literally lived in the office for about three weeks on a couch) kept telling me to never worry about a job because they could tell so-and-so or such-and-such that I was graduating and he/she would either hire me or ask around. Thankfully I ended up going my own direction, but that's exactly what you'll be competing against.

If you really want to be in Florida, you're going to need to 1) transfer here and 2) expect mid/small law. Don't get me wrong, Florida is a great place to live... but it isn't a powerhouse of commerce that it might look like to outsiders. People go to the beach, visit Mickey Mouse, and leave their money here - without that, I think we'd look a lot like Arkansas or Tennessee. Lots of agriculture, lots of cows, not a lot of big business. That said, Gainesville isn't all bad, especially for only two years. Stetson would probably be more manageable for the wife, but I'm not sure you want to transfer down.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:13 am

Jessuf wrote:I'm from the Tampa area and go to Stetson. Average Starting salary in Tampa is probably $45k-$50k for those who get legal jobs. Cost of living is low. Area is beautiful. SA as a 1L is impossible without connections. Govt internships are highly competitive in the summer because you have multiple feeder schools. Midlaw/biglaw is almost non-existent in this area. A lot of hiring is based on ties like gators hiring gators. There are decent opportunities for networking, though. Three very active bar associations, countless inns of court, and Stetson plans networking events.

Are you possibly urm?



No I am not an URM. Do you think doing a visiting term at Stetson would even be worth it? By the way, what year at Stetson are you.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with most of the Tampa firms during 2L OCI. It's very, very, very unlikely you will be able to get a job there without ties. There are only a handful of SA spots there. Carlton Fields didn't even do OCI this year, Holland & Knight took a couple, Bush Ross took a few, Phelps Dunbar took a couple. If had a to guess maybe there are 20 total SA spots? Maybe if you are Top 5-10 + LR without ties you might have a shot, although one of my classmates did that and was unable to secure an offer in the area.

Frankly, I can't overstate how difficult it is to secure a job in Florida right now. I would think long and hard before moving here to find work as a future lawyer.

100% true. Very good ol boy too. I got asked a lot where I went to high school, what part of town I lived in, and who my dad was. It's nearly impossible to get FL big/midlaw without ties.


A couple notes:

First, the bolded statement is spot on. When I was considering law schools, my parents (who I would say have all sorts of serious ties at big/mid/small law level across Central Florida... for example, when my father worked for H&K, he almost single-handedly kept the Miami office operating in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew - as in like, literally lived in the office for about three weeks on a couch) kept telling me to never worry about a job because they could tell so-and-so or such-and-such that I was graduating and he/she would either hire me or ask around. Thankfully I ended up going my own direction, but that's exactly what you'll be competing against.

If you really want to be in Florida, you're going to need to 1) transfer here and 2) expect mid/small law. Don't get me wrong, Florida is a great place to live... but it isn't a powerhouse of commerce that it might look like to outsiders. People go to the beach, visit Mickey Mouse, and leave their money here - without that, I think we'd look a lot like Arkansas or Tennessee. Lots of agriculture, lots of cows, not a lot of big business. That said, Gainesville isn't all bad, especially for only two years. Stetson would probably be more manageable for the wife, but I'm not sure you want to transfer down.



Thanks a lot for this.

Yeah I wouldn't be too keen on transferring down especially considering I have a decent scholarship out west. This is what led me to the visiting student at Stetson idea. I thought I could pay for 1 semester of tuition and then network, try to find something for 2L summer. Thing is, Gainesville is seriously a no go for the wife. I was initially admitted to UF and FSU and we visited both towns. I have to agree with her it kinda sucked and there was definitely nothing for her. She has a grandpa who graduated from Stetson back in the day. He later became a judge in the Daytona area and has always said positive things about the school, although things may have changed since the 50's... Like I said earlier, my only real present day connection is one of his sons who went out of state for LS but is a DA in the Jacksonville area.

But, if I don't give Florida a try, I know she will always hold it against me. For those of you married I know you know what that means. I don't have a good feeling about FL though-- I think the most likely thing to happen will be that I waste money and time down there and then jeopardize my "ties" for the feeder market of my T1 out west.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:22 am

Grizz wrote:
Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:I have very minimal ties to Florida but my wife is tired of the dry mountain air and wants to move. I am a 1L at a T1 out west. Here is my plan so far: I am hoping to do a visiting semester or year at Stetson and try to network with all the the alums from my School out west (I found ten or so online, surely there are a few more). My wife spent summers in Florida growing up (although not the bay area) and my uncle in law works in the DA's office in Jacksonville. That's it for ties. Oh, and I really, really like sunny weather. (Ha..).

I have heard the legal economy in Florida is really bad. I had heard about Government hiring freezes in the Bay area, as well. I know this wouldn't be easy, but anyone from the area care to give me a probability of finding something that pays at least 50k a year?


Oh, probability? Extremely low. Aside from the weather, you don't seem to have many other reasons for wanting to work here.


True, except everyone in FL either came for the weather or was conceived by someone who came for the weather.

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Grizz
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Grizz » Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:46 am

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
Grizz wrote:
Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:I have very minimal ties to Florida but my wife is tired of the dry mountain air and wants to move. I am a 1L at a T1 out west. Here is my plan so far: I am hoping to do a visiting semester or year at Stetson and try to network with all the the alums from my School out west (I found ten or so online, surely there are a few more). My wife spent summers in Florida growing up (although not the bay area) and my uncle in law works in the DA's office in Jacksonville. That's it for ties. Oh, and I really, really like sunny weather. (Ha..).

I have heard the legal economy in Florida is really bad. I had heard about Government hiring freezes in the Bay area, as well. I know this wouldn't be easy, but anyone from the area care to give me a probability of finding something that pays at least 50k a year?


Oh, probability? Extremely low. Aside from the weather, you don't seem to have many other reasons for wanting to work here.


True, except everyone in FL either came for the weather or was conceived by someone who came for the weather.

lolnope

Good luck at FL 2L OCI

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jessuf
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby jessuf » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:29 am

Well. One thing I have noticed about my class at Stetson (1L here) is that absolutely nobody knows what OCI and NALP stand for, they don't know anything about Dec. 1 deadlines, etc. They think that applying for summer internships occurs in May or something. So if you are aggressive about networking and applying to internships early (and not relying solely on OCI because only about 25-30 firms come here each year), you should be okay for SOMETHING. However, you will NOT get the delicious salarious that maybe some of your classmates at your current school will get. All of the 2L SA positions with great firms are sucked up by T14 students who come down for the summer.

What kind of law are you interested in?

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:48 am

Just my two cents... I'm from the west coast (lived in the desert and near the beaches) and I moved to Florida for my company. I absolutely hate Florida. Stay on the west coast, but don't think that moving here will be better. The economy is horrible here, AZ weather is infinitely better, and there really aren't that many things to do. Tampa is the 3rd largest city in the state and there is a dearth of typical big city things to do.

Omerta
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Omerta » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:32 pm

Chiming in on how hard Fl's legal market is to break into. Most firms took 0-2 SAs per office. I had a callback at almost every NALP firm in Orlando and I ran into approximately zero Stetson students during group interviews. It was either top of the class at UF/FSU, top 15% at t25, and I didn't ask for the T14 students (though the three I talked to brought up at every opportunity how hard class was while they were writing their LAW REVIEW NOTE BECAUSE THEY ARE ON LAW REVIEW).

The GOB network and ties comment is 100% true. Every interviewer that was a 3rd year or higher asked where I went to high school, if I knew x person, etc.

You should stand up to your wife. It's very clear you know this is a bad decision, so grow a pair. If you won't, then boy do I have some investment ideas I'd like to tell your wife about. Good luck.

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Grizz
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Grizz » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:18 pm

Omerta wrote:You should stand up to your wife. It's very clear you know this is a bad decision, so grow a pair. If you won't, then boy do I have some investment ideas I'd like to tell your wife about. Good luck.

Credited, lol

thederangedwang
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby thederangedwang » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:21 pm

if you are very good at tennis you might have a shot a phelps dunbar...I'm friends with a partner there, he used to be pro...so if you got game, you could try beating him and then maybe he will give you a job

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Grizz
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Grizz » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:34 pm

thederangedwang wrote:if you are very good at tennis you might have a shot a phelps dunbar...I'm friends with a partner there, he used to be pro...so if you got game, you could try beating him and then maybe he will give you a job

Hope u liek insurance

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:14 am

Just so we can keep this helpful, I never said I thought I could get a SA at a big firm in Florida. Most people on here are looking to make more than a scrape through life salary, whereas that is precisely what I'm looking for.

What type of chances would I have if I was a good student from a decent out of state school with some lit skills in a USAO of a DA's office somewhere around Tampa? I'm thinking not good but a "zero" or a "zero because of this reason IE hiring freeze or way too many locals kids" would be really helpful. Also a positive answer would be acceptable.

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Grizz
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Grizz » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:27 pm

Basically zero because you're not from here, and you didn't go to the local school. Plus:

USAO - on a hiring freeze, doesn't hire fresh grads anyway, and many many many of the new hires now are coming from biglaw

"DA" - prefers to hire local kids from local schools who have interned in the office, but like most govt., budget cuts. Also, I put DA in quotes because it's actually called the State Attorney's Office here. Might be good to know.

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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:42 pm

Grizz wrote:Basically zero because you're not from here, and you didn't go to the local school. Plus:

USAO - on a hiring freeze, doesn't hire fresh grads anyway, and many many many of the new hires now are coming from biglaw

"DA" - prefers to hire local kids from local schools who have interned in the office, but like most govt., budget cuts. Also, I put DA in quotes because it's actually called the State Attorney's Office here. Might be good to know.



I don't think that's necessarily true for the Tampa office. A friend of mines brother works there and he says its mainly transfers from other US Attorney's Offices who want to retire, but still want a decent check.

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Grizz
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Re: No ties, Tampa Bay area

Postby Grizz » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:30 pm

What you're friends brother probably means is that new hires NOW are from other USAO offices. I should have made this clearer. Hiring nationally is frozen, but you can hire someone who is already a USAO. It's like an office transfer. But in the years immediately preceding the freeze, hiring was skewed toward former big firm associates. Most of the old timers are still ex government.

I'm also skeptical of people choosing the Tampa office to retire. The office over the past few years has run some massive drug prosecutions (Panama Express/drug subs), organized crime (most notably the Gambino family, plus assorted gangs), and mortgage fraud (though that's backed off somewhat). The work is not easy, and the Middle District is busy. If they're retiring here, it's for the weather, not the workload.




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